Does it Matter What You’re Made of?
Erica W. Carlson, Ph.D., is Professor of Physics at Purdue University. Prof. Carlson holds a BS in Physics from the California Institute of Technology (1994), as well as a Ph.D. in Physics from UCLA (2000). A theoretical physicist, Prof. Carlson researches electronic phase transitions in novel materials. In 2015, she was elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society “for theoretical insights into the critical role of electron nematicity, disorder, and noise in novel phases of strongly correlated electron systems and predicting unique characteristics.” Prof. Carlson has been on the faculty at Purdue University since 2003, where she also serves as the faculty advisor for Cru and Ratio Christi. She occasionally does speaking engagements on the intersection of Christianity and science with Reasons to Believe and Ravi Zacharias International Ministries.
The physical stuff that makes up the human body is ordinary matter: atoms which are made of electrons, protons, and neutrons. The fact that these particles interact through well-known laws of physics (mainly electric and magnetic interactions and quantum mechanics) has led some to
conclude that every motion of every particle in our body can be predicted solely by those laws of physics, including the electrical signals in your brain which encode your next thought. Does physics so constrain our bodies that even our thoughts are predetermined, or does physics leave room for true freedom?